This Is Just To Say

I have eaten

the plums

that were in

the icebox

and which

you were probably


for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet

and so cold

-- William Carlos Williams


My Favorite Dress Shop

This past weekend I took a friend to my favorite dress shop, Serene Rose. As always happens when I bring someone there, she found the perfect dress, as well as a beautiful clutch and a pair of earrings to tie the whole thing together.

Run by the always gracious Hermian, Serene Rose is a modern throwback with fabulously current dresses -- from national lines like Laundry and Maggie London as well as local NY designers -- in a wide range of styles, coupled with old-fashioned care and attention to the customer. Hermian has an eye for beauty, for body shape and she uses it to bring out the best in everyone.

Plus, she has gorgeous jewelry and some of the sexiest shoes this side of sexy. So save yourself a trip to Bloomingdales, ladies. Serene Rose is the place to go to look and feel fabulous!


Coming Soon...

A sneak peek at my Fall line!

n. Middle English, from Middle French, from Old French, from plume
1: a feather of a bird
2: material worn as ornament
3: a token of honor or prowess


Lots of Sand, But No Beach

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour...

I don't think William Blake was a Buddhist, but you can experience a poetic moment not unlike the one he wrote above at the Rubin Museum of Art this weekend. As part of the exhibit, The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama, artist Tenzing Rigdol takes nine days to create a huge sand painting before ceremonially destroying it.

Yes, it's made of sand.

Why? Because, as Mr. Blake himself put it: "The imagination is not a State: it is the Human existence itself."

Starts Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and runs Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Wednesday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.


Remembering Goodness

From yesterday's New York Times:

A Life of Protest and Forgiveness
By Clyde Haberman

Ben Chaney stood to the side watching mourners fill a grave with the New York soil that gave Carolyn Goodman her eternal blanket.

It is Jewish custom for family and friends to bury the dead themselves, instead of leaving the task to hired hands. In life, Dr. Goodman was hardly an observant Jew. But on Sunday at Mount Judah Cemetery in Ridgewood, Queens, she exited this world in traditional style.

Ben Chaney was there to say farewell. “God put his angels here at the right moment,” he said as clumps of earth thudded across the plain pine coffin.

The “angels” were his mother, Fannie Lee Chaney, and Carolyn Goodman, women whose lives might never have converged had it not been for a brutal June night in 1964 in Neshoba County in Mississippi. Each lost a son that night. James Chaney, 21, and Andrew Goodman, 20, disappeared, along with Michael Schwerner, 24. Six weeks later, their bullet-scarred bodies were found in an earthen dam.

The three civil rights workers.

That’s how they came to be linked for eternity — two white boys from New York, Mr. Goodman and Mr. Schwerner, and a black kid from Mississippi, killed for daring to affirm the right of black Mississippians to vote freely. That right was not universally accepted in the “freedom summer” of 1964. The deaths of the young men at the hands of Ku Klux Klan members proved a pivotal moment for the civil rights movement.

Now, life has run its unrelenting course for their parents. Mr. Schwerner’s mother and father died years ago. Fannie Lee Chaney died in May at 84. On Friday, time ran out for Carolyn Goodman. She was 91.

“It’s been a rough summer,” said Ben Chaney, who was 12 when his big brother, James, was murdered.

Yes, he repeated: “God put his angels here. They carried a hell of a burden for a long time. A hell of a burden — knowing that your sons were murdered and the murderers were out on the streets going free.”

Seven Klan members, convicted of federal civil rights violations, served but a few years in prison. Decades later, in 2005, an eighth man, Edgar Ray Killen, was found guilty of manslaughter by a state jury in Mississippi, and is serving a 60-year term.

“Strong women,” Mr. Chaney said. “They were able to endure, and continued to have faith. They never lost faith. My mother didn’t, and neither did Carolyn.”

Dr. Goodman, a clinical psychologist who lived on the Upper West Side, did many things in her long life. With politics that fell decidedly leftward, she had taken on liberal causes well before Andrew, the second of her three sons, was killed. But perhaps inevitably, it is as Andrew’s mother, a civil rights symbol, that many know her.

There she lay on Sunday, beside her first husband, Robert Goodman, and in front of a long, swooping headstone marking Andrew’s grave. Robert Goodman, a civil engineer, died five years after his son’s murder.

“Everybody says Bobby died of a broken heart,” said Judith Johnson, a family friend.

On Andrew’s headstone, three sets of arms reach toward one another, above words borrowed from a Stephen Spender poem: “He traveled a short while towards the sun, and left the vivid air signed with his honor.”

Many of the 65 people who stood over Dr. Goodman’s grave took turns remembering her. She was caring but tough, they said. She would hear out opponents, they said, but not hesitate to speak her mind.

Jane Mark, a relative, told of getting a phone call from Dr. Goodman in 1999, during the protests and mass arrests over the police killing of the unarmed Amadou Diallo. “Jane, we’re going to get arrested tomorrow,” Ms. Mark recalled Dr. Goodman as saying.

“On the spur of the moment, she could decide to get arrested,” Ms. Mark said. “But she wanted to have friends with her.”

Stanley Dearman, a former editor and publisher of The Neshoba Democrat, a Mississippi newspaper that called for justice in the murders, said Dr. Goodman felt no hatred for the killers. “She was too fine a person for that,” he said. That point was reinforced by Kalman Goodman, a grandson of Dr. Goodman.

One day, a man who spoke in a Southern accent went to her apartment and said he had played a role in Andrew Goodman’s death. He was now asking for forgiveness.

His grandmother, Mr. Goodman said, told the man: “If you want my forgiveness, work in your community and help other people. That way lies forgiveness.”

As far as he knows, the grandson said, the man went home and did just that.



How, oh how, did I ever survive without this doo-dad?

My boyfriend likes to complain that I eat more off his plate than I do my own. Now, he won't even see me coming!

Personally, I would suggest never leaving home without this handy-dandy Freeloader Fork. It’s got a telescoping handle and a reach of about two feet — immediately putting you at an advantage at all family-style dinners and buffet lines.

The stainless steel instrument can be licked clean and used an infinite number of times. And it goes hand in hand with the Sneaky Spoon, another eating utensil that eliminates the distinction between “yours” and “mine.”

So snatch up one for yourself. Before they’re out of reach.


Hang It Up

So it turns out that there are disturbingly high instances of e. coli, hepatitis and mononucleois, just to name a few, on the bottom of purses (and book bags, briefcases, grocery bags, etc). Most probably from being unthinkingly set down on the floor, in subways, public restrooms, and any other place that tends toward germy.

I don't mind admitting I'm a bit of a germ-a-phobe and that this news is a mite disturbing to me. Fortunately, my fellow Etsian over at Prizmatic Art has come up with a beautiful, and relatively simple, solution to the whole I-can't-believe-I'm-carrying-communicable-diseases-on-the- bottom-of-my-purse problem:

Purse hangers.

They're small enough to carry in your purse and ensure you'll never have to put your handbag on a dirty floor or insecurely over the back of a chair ever again. Your handbag will always be in sight hanging next to you at the table or bar.

Prizmatic makes these herself. The one pictured above is my favorite, with its dichroic glass midnight sky hanger. But she has many different kinds, for any taste. Stop by and tell her I sent you.


Bad Poetry

Betcha didn't know that Saturday,
August 18th, is Bad Poetry Day.
Yes, it's true, I'm sad to say,

So pick up your pencil
And write awful verse
Then send it to your high school English teacher
If you're feeling perverse.

This one stinks so badly, it makes my eyes water. What's your bad poem?


Much Ado About A Parking Lot

If you've never seen a live performance of Shakespeare, you couldn't ask for a better introduction than the drilling company's production of Much Ado About Nothing. The origin of such pithy turns of phrase as this -- "When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married" -- the play is the thing in this wonderfully modern production.

Using minimal props and the brick walls of tenement housing as a backdrop, the actors perform their hearts out. No previous knowledge of Shakespearian dialogue is required to follow the story line, thanks to the dramatic presence of these asphalt thespians. So, this weekend pull up a lawn chair, keep your beer in the bag, and enjoy an evening out at the theater.

Oh, and one more thing: It's free.


Ode to a Lemon

Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love's
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.

-- Pablo Neruda



Make It Yourself

Want a unique mp3 player without being beholden to the Apple gods? Build your own. No kidding.

Daisy is an easy-to-build, pocket-sized open source MP3 player. Producing sound as good as an iPod, the Daisy can access 65,000 tracks, play 48khz WAV files as well as mp3’s, and has batteries that you can actually change.

Um, yeah.

Real talk: You want this because no one else at the gym will have one.


Good Reads

Lately I've been wanting something truly, deeply good and satisfying to read. You know, something so good that you miss your stop on the subway or end up with a crick in your neck from reading over someone's shoulder.

Then a friend turned me onto GoodReads, where you can flaunt some mental muscle by cataloging your preferred prose, childhood favorites, and cherished classics and get recommendations for books of every stripe and shelf. After sorting your virtual libraries onto "shelves" of books — categories such as "to-read," and "currently reading," — you can talk about in digital book clubs.

I've already started a "Beach Reading" shelf. Should you find yourself somewhere on a beach, under an umbrella with a few hours to kill, check out The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band. No kidding, I could care less about the band but the stories are RIDICULOUS. So, what's on your shelf?


I've been working with these pretty, cool, beach-glass pieces the color of water all summer, but this is the only one quite like this.

What makes it so special is the delicately wrapped slivers of sterling silver that encase the top of the glass pendant, creating a truly unique bail topped by brilliant smooth-polished gemstones so pale they're nearly clear.

And they're just one of two varietals of Aquamarine -- the gem of joy, hope, love and spiritual vision -- featured in this necklace.

You'll find the others near the clasp, their architectural shape echoing a sterling silver chain charmed with iridescent sea-gray glass beads.

Best of all, these earrings match.

Shop my One and Only >>


It's Not Too Late...

...to get your grill on, NYC apartment dwellers.

I have two words for you: PORTABLE BBQ.

It's worth the shipping.


Own A Piece of the Rock

One of the things I love most about my shop at Etsy (shameless plug!) is that it's part of an incredibly dynamic online community of creative, artsy and/or wacky people.

I leave it to you to decide into which of those categories I fit. Ahem.

In the meantime, check out this little guy. He made me giggle:

Ridonkulously cute! And just the tip of the offbeat-sensibility-iceberg my fellow Etsian, Melancholy Mermaid, is rockin'. (Pardon the pun.)

Her shop features other delightfully nutty nature creatures, like this pile of "mud" and this fluffy fellow, as well as the perfect gift for...well, we all probably know someone for whom this is perfect.

Anywho, she's on my list of favorites.


Get Out Of Town

It's August. Which in NYC means everyone's fleeing for a bit of summer fun before the start of the school year, whether or not they're currently in school.

However, if you're reading this chances are you're also probably telling anyone who'll listen how much you love NY when everyone's gone cause it's like having the city to yourself. Or at least that's the tale I like to tell.

Never fear, a solution is near. Flavorpill and Redken are sponsoring an Out of Town contest wherein two lucky city folk spend some QT in a small town (no, not Staten Island), get to know the natives and have the whole thing documented by a camera crew.

Sounds familiar, you say?

Perhaps. But if you check out the Round One winners' adventures in Kutztown, PA, you'll see that it's smarter, funnier and realer than that other show you're thinking of but ashamed to admit you watched once when your finger slipped on the remote. Make no mistake, the two lovely ladies featured in these webisodes are RNY (Real New York).


Waters of Love

These oh-so-blue Calamine gemstones, sweetly sandwiched between Bali silver hearts, remind me of when I was in Puerto Rico, marveling at how the sky and sea were one and the same.

Thought to bring tranquility and favorable outcomes, this summer gem harmonizes with the heart chakra to release stress and deepen one's sense of love and compassion.

Which is exactly what I felt floating off the coast of Puerto Rico in that turquoise-colored Caribbean Sea. Such a profound sense of well-being filled me, I can only describe it as being in a state of love.

Perhaps it is too much to expect the same sensation from a few lovely stones strung on a slip of silver, but then again, why not?

Float on.

Shop Waters of Love


The Wilds of New York

Every safari has an expedition leader. Urban jungles are no exception.

This Saturday, August 4, go foraging with "Wildman" Steve Brill. He can show you things you never thought you'd see in Central Park, like...

Blackberries. Mayapples. Cherries. Edible mushrooms.

You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you?

Thanks to its varied habitats and combination of native and introduced species, New York's Central Park overflows with wild food.

Wild fruit far surpassing anything available commercially fills the park. Thickets lined with sweet, juicy European cut-leaf blackberries; crops of yellow mayapples the size of ping-pong balls with a texture like custard and a lemony flavor; bushes full of carnelian cherries, the national fruit of Turkey, just across from the Delacorte Theatre.

And then there are the mushrooms. Gourmet boletes, brittle russulas, prized prince mushrooms, and gigantic chicken mushrooms.

Fresher than D'Agostino, and a lot less expensive too.

The 4-hour walking tour begins at 11:45 AM, Saturday, August 4, 2007 at Central Park West and West 103rd St. Call (914) 835-2153 at least 24 hours ahead to reserve a place.


Cool Water

I created this necklace as an homage to the memory of days spent on the beaches of Martha's Vineyard with my family. It is where my Beach Collection of jewelry begins.

The luster of tiny, gorgeous Japanese Delicas reminds me of shell sand that glimmers in a strong afternoon sun. It is a lovely summer frame for the water-colored subtleties of gemstones faintly splashed with green, blue and the occasional purple wave.

Much like a day spent at the shore, Rainbow Fluorite balances energies and opens chakras while Amazonite soothes nerves and improves thinking abilities.

Don't you wish you were at the beach right now?

Shop The Beach Collection >>